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Daily COVID Tracker: More Nigerians than reported infected and US death toll tops 500k

Daily COVID Tracker: More Nigerians than reported infected and US death toll tops 500k
February 23
07:51 2021

February 23, 2021 will go down in infamy for the United States as the country recorded over half a million deaths from COVID-19. Here are five updates about the pandemic this Tuesday. 

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Boris Johnson unveils four-month plan to end UK restrictions 

Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, has announced a roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions by 21 June.

From March 8, schools will be reopened across the UK and limited outdoor social interactions such as sitting on a park bench with one other person will return, while groups of six can meet outside and two households can mix beginning from March 29.

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Non-essential retails including businesses such as hairdressing, gyms, museums, zoos and theme parks can open by April 12 while social contacting rules will remain in place.

From May 17, groups of up to 30 will be able to meet outdoors. Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve indoors. Spectators will be permitted to return to live outdoor sports with up to 10,000 allowed to attend the largest venues such as Wembley Stadium.

Most social contacting rules will be removed and nightclubs can reopen by June 21. Personal life events like weddings will have no limitations if things go according to plan.

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More Nigerians have COVID-19 than confirmed cases

The number of Nigerians who have contracted the coronavirus is higher than the cases confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The NCDC and the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) disclosed this in a report released on Monday.

The research which was conducted in four states “to improve the estimate of the burden of COVID-19 infection in the country and provide a more detailed estimate of the extent of infection” said one in every five persons in Lagos, Enugu and Nasarawa states had contracted COVID-19 as of October 2020.

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Last Friday, Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the NCDC, said about 25 percent of Nigerians have been exposed to COVID-19 without them knowing it.

PTF cautions Nigerians against purchase of  unapproved COVID vaccines 

The presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 has warned Nigerians against the purchase of unapproved vaccines from the black market.

Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of PTF, who gave the warning on Monday said, Nigeria will get its first supply of approved vaccines “very soon”, with specific reference to the expected four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Death toll from COVID tops 500,000 in US

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Half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States since the pandemic began — the highest for any country in the world — according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

According to the university’s data, the US confirmed over 28 million COVID-19 cases with 500,071 fatalities. The first death is said to have been recorded on February 29, 2020.

The 500,071 deaths imply that about one in every 660 people in the US has died of the infection.

President Joe Biden marked the grim milestone with a moment of silence and a candle-lighting at the White House after he delivered a speech on the impact of the infection.

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“Today we mark a truly grim, heartbreaking milestone. 500,071 dead. That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam war combined,” he said.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the house, ordered flags at the US Capitol to be “be flown at half-staff due to the passing of 500,000 Americans from COVID-19”.

Smell and taste may not return for up to five months after COVID-19 infection

People’s sense of smell and taste may not return for up to five months after the COVID-19 infection.

A team of researchers at the University of Quebec surveyed 813 healthcare workers who tested positive for COVID-19. Each person completed an online questionnaire and home test to evaluate their sense of taste and smell on an average of five months after diagnosis.

They rated their senses of taste and smell on a scale from 0 to 10. Zero meant no sense at all, and 10 meant a strong sense of taste or smell.

During initial infection, more than 70 percent of those who took part in the survey reported losing their sense of smell, and 65 percent reporting losing their sense of taste.

Five months later, using the home test, 17 percent of the volunteers said they still had a loss of smell while 9 percent of them said they had a persistent loss of taste.

“While COVID-19 is a new disease, previous research shows that most people lose their sense of smell and taste in early stages of the illness. We wanted to go further and look at how long that loss of smell and taste lingers, and how severe it is in people with COVID-19,” Johannes Frasnelli, one of the researchers, said.

COVID-19 IN NIGERIA

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